Diet is a 4 Letter Word

Diets don’t work. Statistics prove it. Perhaps it’s because people view diets as a means to an end, rather than a way to live. But what if we changed the way we thought about diets? What if we thought of a diet as a long term solution to gain health rather than a short term solution to lose weight?

Despite the fact that the diet industry has become a 20+ billion dollar industry, more Americans are overweight than ever before. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1/3 of American adults are obese. 1/3 of us are obese despite the fact that we are spending a ton of money trying to get skinny. Clearly something is not working.

Google “diets” and 18,000,000 results pop up in a fraction of a second.   We are diet obsessed. Some diets make some nutritional sense, while others are absolutely ridiculous. How about the hCG diet? You don’t even need to watch what you eat. Just inject yourself with the urine of a pregnant woman. Now the Cabbage Soup sounds promising, as it focuses on lots of veggies. Or maybe I should say a lot of one veggie. I’m sure eating cabbage soup three times a day for the rest of your life wouldn’t get old, would it? How about the tapeworm diet? Yep…I don’t even want to go there.

So what’s a person to do? We are bombarded with dieting information on a daily basis. And what’s worse, the information keeps changing. One day gluten is the devil, the next day not so much. One day it’s high protein, low carb, the next day it’s all about matching your diet to your blood type.

I’m not a dietician or a nutritionist. I have done a lot of dieting however. I’ve also done a lot of reading:

Missing a few key books like The China Syndrome and Eat to Live.
Missing a few key books I’ve loaned out like The China Syndrome and Eat to Live.

This is what I’ve deducted from all I’ve learned. There is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to diets. There are some common factors that seem to exist however. First of all, we need to stop eating junk. Reading ingredient labels is crucial. People need to know what they are putting into their bodies. A safe rule to follow is if you don’t recognize it or can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.  Eat real food.

Secondly, we should  eat a lot of nutrient dense foods. Nutrient dense foods are foods that contain a lot of nutrients in comparison to the number of calories they provide. Whole Foods grocery stores use ANDI scores to help consumers identify nutrient rich foods. Maximize these foods in your diet.

Finally, limit the amount of animal products in your diet. The consumption of animal products is linked to heart disease and cancer.

Remember, a diet should not be a temporary change to lose weight. It should be a permanent change to gain health.



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